You know a true friend when they give you a part baked home made baguette the day before you go on your holidays and say: “you can take that for the Company Shed”.  Battenburg Belle, Queen of Baking, knows me so well.  Here’s some she made earlier.

The Company Shed is a legendary spot on Mersea Island, about 1 minute walk from our holiday bolt hole. 

They are famous for their fish and shellfish.  When you sit down they say, “have you been here before?  Have you brought your own bread and booze?” because it’s that kind of place.  So me and Mr R went armed with many cans of beer and BB’s beautiful bread, fresh and hot from our holiday home oven and some posh butter.  Divine. 

We loved the mackerel pate:

and the tiger prawns:

and the fishcakes:

If you are “in the know” you can get a live crab from behind a curtain…

And there are fresh fish a go-go to take away and cook at home….

But even more fun is to be had on the jetty nearby, where on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons you can buy fresh fish fresh off the boats…

We were spoiled for choice:

But we decided on a nice big Sea Bass from “Johnnie’s Box” and he scaled and gutted it for us:

I was very pleased with my fishy:

I wiped it inside and out with vinegar, and I stuffed it as per Stan’s suggestion with breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon juice, butter and beaten eggs all mixed together.

I used Panko breadcrumbs as I am ON HOLIDAY and therefore too busy looking at the glorious sunsets to make my own breadcrumbs.  Plus, as I didn’t have my cooking string with me I had to improvise and use toothpicks to keep my fishy together… 

 He didn’t look too happy halfway through cooking…

But he turned out lovely!  The toothpicks worked.  We had mashed potato and brocolli on the side.  The fish was so fresh and gorgeous.

Stan’s recipe is destined for the forthcoming book and I’m still fiddling around with it, if you’d like to have the recipe in the meantime, please drop me a line via the “contact me” page.

Clever Mr R had brought Laurel and Hardy’s “Towed in the Hole” with him on DVD – this is the one where L&H play fresh fish salesmen so very appropriate.  Yum yum – ha ha!

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